Cathay Pacific has bought into the Airbus 350 in a big way. Since 2016 they’ve launched 22 A350-900 aircraft into operation and this year they’re introducing the longer and larger A350-1000. They expect to have 20 in their fleet by 2021. And that’s great because the A350 is an excellent plane and Cathay’s cabin fit and finish is very well thought out and executed.
This was a regional flight between Bangkok and Hong Kong. It was a nice chance to try out the product but unfortunately it was a short 2:30 flight. Cathay has a nice lounge in Bangkok but it’s not as elaborate as their offerings in Hong Kong so we’re concentrating our review on the inflight portion.
The A350’s Business Class seat was designed by Studio F.A. Porsche which offers loads of storage, a great IFE and folds into a very comfortable flat bed accented with linen-style bedding. There are 38 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration in the A350-900.
On our A350-1000 there were 46 business class seats spread out over two cabins. Each offered a good amount of privacy and storage. The Cathay’s A350s also have fast inflight Wi-Fi connectivity as well as SMS and data roaming services, in addition to complimentary satellite TV.
The inflight service was typical Cathay Pacific, it was attentive, professional but not over bearing. The catering was good and the selections of wine and cocktails was excellent. After a short flight we were descending into Hong Kong but wanting more. That’s a real measure of how enjoyable a flight is.
The Airbus A350 is very passenger friendly. The Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines are more fuel efficient, reduce the plane’s carbon footprint and help to create a much quieter cabin. The larger windows, upgraded lavatories and generous overhead bins also help make flying a better experience.
Where it matters most, in both the hard and soft product Cathay is doing a great job. They face tough competition in Asia and on key long haul routes, so it’s been a tough few years for the airline. Let’s hope they come through their recent turbulence with a renewed commitment to continue offering a premium flying experience. We remain loyal fans. They have done a great job with their roll out the A350.